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A Gatsby is a South African style of deli sandwich very similar in content and method of preparation as a hoagie in the United States. It is mostly popular in the Western Cape province.


Gatsbys usually consist of long bread rolls cut lengthwise and opened up to form a sort of cradle which is filled with various fillings. While the choice of filling in a Gatsby varies widely depending on customer preference and vendor, one standard item is usually hot chips i.e. vinegary French fries known as slap chips. Different varieties of Gatsbys include masala steak, chicken, polony, Vienna sausage, calamari, fish, and chargrilled steak.
Gatsbies originated in the Cape Flats area of Cape Town, where people would often buy large rolls and fill them with whatever leftovers they had, and split them four ways. This practice has carried on in modern times, with gatsbies being bought in full, half or quarter sizes.
A Muslim, Rashaad Pandy of the fish-and-chips shop Super Fisheries, in the Athlone area of Cape Town, claims to have invented it one night in 1976 when, trying to feed some day laborers he had hired, he found that he had sold out of fish. So he filled a round Portuguese loaf with what he had: chips, fried bologna and achar. One man exclaimed, ‘This is fantastic! A Gatsby smash!’ (Smash was local slang for a tasty dish.) The film, the Great Gatsby had recently played to crowds at the Athlone Bioscope.
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